It is said that necessity is the mother of invention. I think it can also be argued that having leftovers is also the mother of invention.
After our book club lunch, I was left with quite a bit of the samosa filling, as well as some of the salmon we’d made. Yes, I could just make more samosas or use put the filling into puff pastry sheets to make Bengali-style patties, but I wanted to do something else with it. And so I did.
I’m sure many of you are familiar with tuna cakes or salmon croquettes. Well it’s probably not a surprise to learn that we have our versions of those too. Except we call them tuna or salmon kababs. I’m sure to many, the word kabab makes you picture a skewer with meat and veggies on it. That is definitely a type of kabab. But the type of kabab I’m talking about today is patty-shaped and made from a mixture of cooked fish, spiced potatoes, and some binding ingredients. These are usually fried, and I’ve shallow fried and baked them with equally good results.
After this past Thanksgiving, my mom took leftover turkey, our mashed potatoes, stuffing, and some Indian spices and resurrected the leftovers as kababs. It’s a very versatile and forgiving dish, and this was what I had in mind as I looked at the leftover samosa filling and salmon.
This isn’t a proper recipe, so there aren’t any measurements. Think of this as a template for you to use up leftover potatoes and meat.
I took the salmon fillets and flaked them with a fork. Next, I added some of the samosa/potato filling. With my hands I crumbled the two together in a bowl. I added more potatoes as needed. Then I added some extra spices to punch up the flavor a bit. I added an egg and made sure to incorporate it thoroughly into the mix. Finally, some breadcrumbs to help bind everything.
And then for the fun part. Using both hands, I’d scoop up a bit of the mixture and roll it into a ball. Then I flattened the ball into a patty shape and smoothed the edges so that the kabab wouldn’t come apart when it cooked. After that, all that was left was to cook the kababs.
So in a reasonably minimal amount of time I was able to utilize my leftovers and create an entirely new dish. Not a bad trick! Also consider the fact that Mr. Spice was ehh about the salmon in the first place, now that it’s been doctored up there shouldn’t be any complaints.